Success Story

ZCG Scalar


From keeping Australian firefighters safe on the fire front to bringing digital television to villagers in Papua New Guinea, Lindenow company ZCG is taking Aussie innovation to the world.

Family-owned and operated for over 50 years, ZCG is a world-class antenna business, which designs and manufactures innovative radio-frequency (RF) solutions.

The company provides everything from mobile antennas for use on vehicles and the marine industry; to base-station solutions for police and emergency services towers; through to custom-designed broadcast solutions that enable radio and television broadcasters to deliver a high quality, targeted signal.

Under the direction of Radio Frequency expert Garry Kelly, who owns the company with his wife and co-director Sally-Ann, ZCG prides itself on its ability to build antennas to meet customers’ needs.

“We produce Australian-made RF solutions for extreme conditions,” Garry said. “We design and manufacture in Australia, which means we can customise our antennas to suit your needs while offering design protection, local support and warranty.”

ZCG has invested more than $1 million in high-tech testing equipment with network analysers deployed at each point in production. No antenna leaves the workshop without being inspected. As well as ensuring the antennas meet compliance requirements, it guarantees quality.

“In the case of cheap, imported antennas, the manufacturers might test one in a hundred, so often you will receive it and it doesn’t work,” Garry said. “Cheaper products may look similar, but they are a long way behind in quality.”

ZCG’s local manufacture extends to more than half of the 7,000 components used to make the antennas.

“We have an engineering team onsite who make the bits and pieces we need. This means we can guarantee the quality, provide a faster service and keep our prices down because we only make what we need,” Garry said. “Plus we employ local people and support the local economy.”

Based in Lindenow, around 10 minutes west of Bairnsdale in East Gippsland, ZCG employs 26 people in roles such as engineering, technical services, antenna production, administration, sales, warehouse and dispatch.

The company was established in 1970 by founder Gregor Cox, who identified a need for high-quality, low-maintenance antennas for use by amateur radio enthusiasts. The name comes from his call sign, Zulu Charlie Golf, and the factory remains on the site the business began – in a shed in Gregor’s Lindenow backyard.

“The location is ideal for the manufacture of antennas and RF systems due to the lack of both radio frequency and electrical interference,” Garry said.

The Kelly family bought ZCG in 2004, and have steered it through a period of growth. The company’s products are available in retail outlets throughout Australia and the export business continues to expand.

“I have worked in the industry for around 30 years, starting in the UK and Europe,” Garry said. “I started installing antennas but was always very interested in how they worked, so quickly moved into function and design.”

Strategic commercial partnerships are key to ZCG’s success. Teamwork also plays a role.

As well as premium off-the-shelf products, the company designs solutions for customers with particular technical requirements or problems.

“For example, ZCG can help television and radio broadcasters to quickly get back on air after a lightning strike,” he said. “Broadcasters lose money for every minute they are down so we provide a quick solution so they can broadcast while their antenna is rebuilt.”

It also offers detailed site-coverage modelling and predictions and the electromagnetic radiation (EMR) field surveys required by the Australian Government.

“We are proud to be a family owned, Australian company,” Garry said. “Our son Jamie and daughter Laura have joined the business too now, so hopefully that will continue long into the future.”